First Presbyterian of LaGrange celebrating 190 years

Published 6:36 pm Friday, March 15, 2019

First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange will celebrate its 190th birthday on Wednesday, March 20 from 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a cookout on its campus at 120 Broad Street. 

“190 years of service in a community is an amazing feat, and we wanted to celebrate all that God has accomplished and will continue to accomplish through the life of this church,” said the Rev. James Goodlet, pastor at First Presbyterian. 

First Presbyterian was founded on March 21, 1829, just 95 days after the village of LaGrange was chartered.  After sharing a building on the corner of Bull and Broome Streets with First Baptist Church, the Presbyterians moved into a building on the corner of Church and Haralson Street in 1840 — a building which subsequently served as a hospital during the Civil War. 

Then, in 1919, Miss Laura Loyd donated the property on the corner of Broad Street and Lewis Street, where the church is currently located. A building was completed on that site in 1929, just in time for a dedication service to be held on the church’s 100th anniversary.

Unfortunately, on Sunday morning, April 29, 1951, the building was destroyed by fire and was considered a total loss. Church was not canceled that day, however, as the LaGrange Board of Education stepped in to host a service at 11 a.m. in the LaGrange High School Auditorium. A new church facility was built on the site, and the new building was dedicated in 1953. In 1988, an education building was constructed due in large part to the support of one of the church’s elders, Louise Gallant. Education continues to play a significant role in the congregation’s mission, as the church houses both the First Presbyterian Montessori School and the First Presbyterian Childcare.

First Presbyterian hosts a Wednesday morning community ministry and a Thursday Lunch Program, participates in Paint the Town and other local service projects and hosts weekly Sunday morning worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. As the congregation continues to build upon the past, the Rev. Goodlet notes that the best may be yet to come. 

“This is a congregation that is primed to grow and create new ways of being the Church of Jesus Christ here in LaGrange,” Goodlet said. “I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as we move forward to another 190 years of ministry in this great community.” 

Cost for dinner at the celebration is $5 per person, $3 for children in first through sixth grades, and free for children kindergarten and younger, with a $20 cap for families. 

For more information, contact First Presbyterian Church, (706) 884-4064.